Editorial: The merry month of May

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The first May 1 protest march under President RR Duterte’s regime, according to the national news, gathered some 35,000 representatives at Liwasang Bonifacio in and around the Metro Manila area, aside from the approximate total of 80,000 provincial mobilizations in different urban centers all over the country.

Under the past three presidents or some three decades now, this has yet been one of the larger mobilizations for May 1, Labor Day. Aside from the usual threat of violence paused by the battle ready metro-police were the usual placards, and a sea of red Tshirts, streamers, and banners waving with messages and calls. It was a most striking sight to behold above the usual drowning urban noise, multi color and grime of the congested metro capital.

This year’s protest march sounded more hopeful than the past, a wider aura of greener pastures ahead was carried by the mantra for, “wage hike, job security, free housing” which made more realistic the the general calls for “imperyalista ibagsak! Pyudalismo ibagsak, burukrata kapitalismo ibagsak!

Holding the President they supported in the last national election, to his campaign promises and putting trust that with their support and vigilant watch he will be able to deliver just social services for the Filipino people. The organized sectors of workers, urban poor populations, peasants, women, indigenous people and youth have demonstrated that uniting as a nation, to serve its people makes a bright future nearer and more attainable for all.#

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May 3 is World Press Freedom Day

Besides being the month for the working class, May 3 is World Press Freedom Day as proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993. Its threefold purpose: “To evaluate press freedom around the world; to defend the media from attacks on their independence; and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.” (From the net.) The country still holds its position as one of the most dangerous countries for journalists.

The recent actions of the president’s (in)famous daughter and son against members of the press in relation to the recent coverage of the Lapanday Food Corp. And a landgrabbing controversy involving land reform beneficiaries and their banana/fruit farms, shows concretely how and what kind of threats continue to hound and threaten the Freedom of Expression or the right to information of every Filipino citizen in their country. Journalists like the workers with their hammers and the peasants with the sickle must heed the call to bear their pens too. Speak out, bare the truth and defend press freedom, uphold the Filipino people’s right to self-determination. # nordis.net

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